The Cottages Blog

Early Memory Loss Shows up in Everyday Speech

Posted by Michelle Kelley on Oct 27, 2017 9:00:00 AM


It’s normal to pause during speech to think about what you’re going to say, and as people age, it’s quite common to have a little more difficulty retrieving some words during a conversation. However, when a senior hits the point where it starts to take longer to catch a thought during speech, or when words are lost entirely, that’s a sign that something serious is going on.

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison conducted a study with 264 adult volunteers, some who were previously determined to be at-risk for Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. One-minute speech samples of subjects being asked to describe photos were analyzed. Close to three years later, the same tests were repeated. During these repeated tests, it was found that the speech of the at-risk people had declined more steeply than those who were not at-risk.

Over the next ten years, researchers continued to observe and test the same group of people. The speech of the at-risk subjects declined even more as time passed. This study was able to show that when words are forgotten multiple times within just a few sentences, it’s a very real sign of cognitive decline.


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Topics: Senior Health Care

Michelle Kelley

Written by: Michelle Kelley

Michelle Haigler Kelley is a native of Montgomery, Alabama. She and her husband Shane live in Pike Road with their daughters. She graduated from Auburn University at Montgomery and began her career in the senior care industry as an Activity Director before obtaining her Alabama Assisted Living Administrator License in 2014. “I have truly found my calling in life to work with our seniors. After all, they are considered the greatest generation,” says Michelle. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and going to the lake.